Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Monday, 20 December 2010

From CBBC to BBC Sports Personality

BBC presenter Jake Humphrey at Bartley Green School
Jake Humphrey answers the questions of the School Reporters

This year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year was the biggest ever, with about 13,000 people braving the snow to travel to the LG Arena in Birmingham on Sunday.

Jake Humphrey, together with Sue Barker and Gary Lineker, presented the show and the BBC's face of Formula 1 took time out to talk to School Reporters at Bartley Green School, discussing his career and what it's like to broadcast a live show watched by millions.

School Reporters Ellis, Josh, James, Ian, Nii, Bethan, Ravi, William, Holly, Moniecha, Aimee, Jack and Lauren were on hand to grill Jake, while local media - including the BBC's Midlands Today - were also in attendance.

"Working for CBBC was a bit like being in the reserve team for me," Jake, who started his career working in children's television, told the School Reporters.

"Being a presenter of Sports Personality of the Year is like being in the first team. I always dreamed of following in the footsteps of my idol Des Lynam!"

The School Reporters were interested to know how nervous Jake would be before the show goes out at 1900 GMT on Sunday evening.

I'd give up everything if I could play one game for Norwich
BBC presenter Jake Humphrey

"I don't think I'm nervous as much as excited," he said. "But there's no denying you do get nervous when you look out at 13,000 people in the crowd including sporting greats like the England footballers and manager, Olympic gold medallists... and my mum and dad!

"Ten minutes before the show you do have incredible nerves like before you sit an exam - but once you go on air, all the nerves go and you just get on with it."

Sports Personality of the Year editor Carl Doran was also at the school - along with a special guest in the shape of the show's famous trophy - and admitted he also had some nerves of his own to deal with.

"It's such a huge event to be involved in organising, so I'm always pleased when it's over!" he said.

A School Reporter films the session with Jake Humphrey
Students got the chance to work on their filming skills

"The weather is one of my biggest worries. When you've got so many famous sports stars coming from all over the world... will they make it?"

Jake's job now takes him to glamorous locations all around the world, as he presents every Grand Prix of the F1 season for the BBC, while he has also covered events like the Super Bowl, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

But he had his fair share of struggles early on, failing his A-levels (before passing them at the second attempt) and battling hard to get a start in the competitive media industry.

"At home I've still got a folder of letters I wrote to TV companies asking for a job - it's really important to remember these things," he told the Bartley School pupils in a Q&A session compered by Question of Sport researcher Dave Ball.

While he may now be on first-name terms with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, Jake - a diehard Norwich City fan - had no hesitation in picking a slightly less well-known name when asked which sportsman he would most like to be.

"Grant Holt - he scored a hat-trick against Ipswich last month," he said.

"To do that is just about the biggest achievement you could think of for a Norwich fan. I'd give up everything if I could play one game for Norwich."


Meeting Jake and hearing his experiences about how he got into the media industry made me feel like I can do it as well

School Reporter Jack

The School Reporters were delighted to have had the opportunity to speak to Jake about his experiences of working in the media.

"Meeting Jake has been an exciting and memorable experience," said Ravi.

"There have been some laughs as well as some serious talking and tips.

"In the future I hope to be like Jake - that's the working for the BBC bit, not the supporting Norwich or failing his A-Levels the first time around bit!"

Fellow School Reporter Jack added: "Meeting Jake and hearing his experiences about how he got into the media industry made me feel like I can do it as well."

With other journalists also in the school to report on Jake's visit, School Reporter Ellis seized the opportunity to find out what the day-to-day reality of life in the industry was like.

"It was great to speak to the other journalists," said Ellis.

School Reporter Ravi starts work on his report
Ravi gets on with the job of writing up his notes

"I learnt some tips about how important it is to always have a back-up plan in case something goes wrong.

"And Jake also reminded us about the importance of good questions and the difference between open and closed questions."

And School Reporter Ian was able to tap up the Midlands Today cameraman for some advice.

"Seeing how the cameraman from the BBC worked was inspiring and he gave me useful tips for filming," said Ian.

The day was a special one for Bartley Green School teacher Deborah Mole, who organised the visit along with School Report.

"Watching the kids work so hard and get a real insight into the world of media has been invaluable and will provide essential life skills and inspiration for their future - and I'm very proud of them," said Deborah.


Sports Personality of the Year
Venue: Birmingham LG Arena Date: Sunday, 19 December Time: 1900 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website.



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